Writing Emails that Will Actually Get Responses

BY Rachel Cagle
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Have you been having a tougher time getting your emails answered since the pandemic took hold in March? You may be tempted to blame it on the economy. After all, most people are cutting expenses where they can and are attempting to save money. However, businesses still have problems that they need to solve. And it can be imperative that they solve their problems as quickly as possible. If you are selling the perfect solutions to these problems and still aren’t getting responses to your emails, it may not be the economy that’s negatively impacting your response rates. In reality, it’s probably the way you’re writing emails.

According to Stephanie Vozza, writing for Fast Company, there are a few common mistakes sales reps make when writing emails that can turn prospects away.

Mistakes When Writing Emails

Writing in All Caps

THERE ARE VERY FEW THINGS THAT JUSTIFY THIS IN THE FIRST FEW EMAILS YOU WILL EVER SEND TO SOMEONE! IT’S SUPER ANNOYING AND OFFPUTTING! Writing emails using all caps means that you’re essentially screaming at the recipient. Who wants to be yelled at? Ever? No one wants to be screamed at by someone they don’t know or are just getting to know.

Before you ask, no; all caps is not even acceptable in an email subject line. “Users who wrote an email with an all-​cap subject line received a reply 30% less often,” writes Vozza. If something is urgent, just say that in the subject line. Don’t try to force a sense of urgency by writing in all caps. All lowercase subject lines don’t go over well with recipients either. If you want to get a response to your email messages, just stick with the proper capitalization and punctuation. It’s more professional and both prospects and clients prefer that in their business correspondence.

Mysterious Subject Lines

While we’re on the topic of subject lines, here’s another tip from Vozza. “Avoid putting something generic in the subject line, such as ‘Hi.’” People’s inboxes are always full, especially now that retailers and advertisers are sending out more messages than ever since more people are spending longer periods of time online. Your clients and prospects want to know that an email is worth their time before they’ll open it. If the subject line you choose isn’t clear, your message will probably be sent straight to the trash, unopened.

Vozza also recommends changing the subject line if the conversation shifts. Always keep the subject line relevant to keep the recipients interested and engaged.

Improper Word Count

What’s your response to opening an email and finding that it’s thousands of words long? That sucker is going straight to the trash, right? When writing emails to your prospects or clients, keep your content within a readable word count. In a previous SalesFuel blog post, I wrote that, “Boomerang found that the most effective emails are 50 to 125 words long. At least half of these emails are regularly responded to. However, if you just can’t squeeze all the important details into such a limited word count, you can add more without too much guilt. The response percentage decreases by only about 1% for each additional 25 words.”

You should obviously make your email outreach as precise and concise as possible, but don’t skimp on the important details for the sake of brevity. Add the details you need to in order to get your point across. Just make sure that you don’t keep blathering on once the important topics have been covered.

Closing the Message Without a Thank You

Common courtesy is an extremely important matter when writing emails, especially to prospective clients who don’t know you yet. You don’t want to come off as rude or insensitive. The easiest way to do that is to end your email without thanking the recipient for their time or interest. Your prospect’s time is a precious commodity. It has been that way even before the country fell into its recent economic chaos. Do you really want them to get to the end of a potentially lengthy cold email just to see a generic sign off?

That won’t go over well. It makes it seem like your outreach was a gift to them instead of an opportunity for both of you. So, be sure to thank them at the end. Whether it’s for the time they took to read your email or for their potential interest in your product or service, a word of thanks goes a long way. And I’m not just saying that for the sake of politeness. “These sign-​offs increase response rates by 36% compared to other methods,” writes Vozza. Make your parents proud; say please and thank you!